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Meet Trailblazer Kara Lyne Szabadi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kara Lyne Szabadi of Fruit Salad LA, a special maker’s market in Highland Park.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kara Lyne. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It’s my pleasure! Thanks for doing a write-up on us. So! Fruit Salad LA was born mid-2017. I had gotten together with my friend, Jen Rose – a portrait artist – who I had met while vending my handmade jewelry at a market in 2016. We decided that we wanted to create a special event-based artistic collective that brought LA makers together for a monthly, highly-curated market. We began working with artists that were environmentally inclined, well-informed, and alert to racial and social issues – all from diverse backgrounds and communities. It was, and still is, very important for us to always give exposure to artists from otherwise often under-represented groups.

Our aim was simple – to showcase talented and purposeful artists, to give back to our community, and to have a regular gathering that we could count on to provide both a social meeting of underground and kitsch groups, as well as a place to buy and sell highly curated handmade goods and services.

Fruit Salad quickly settled into the artist community in Highland Park. Having grown up and attended art schools in LA, I l luckily had a wide range of makers and artists that I admired who I could invite. Our first event came together in October of 2017! Of course, a few things have changed since then, but overall we have only continued to grow. Today, Fruit Salad pops up at Stash on York for a weekend market in Highland park every February, May, September, and December! We still always feature female, queer, and minority artists and always donate a portion of our vendor’s fees to a local charity.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Fruit Salad LA – what should we know?
Fruit Salad is a highly curated, quarterly maker’s market that features female, queer, and minority artisans. We always donate a portion of our vendor’s fees to a local charity. There are a lot of markets in LA, but we are one of the only ones that regularly donates to charity and features/focuses on artists from marginalized groups. I am incredibly proud of the inclusive, safe community that I helped to create – I have even been lucky enough to develop multiple friendships from this beautifully diverse team of people.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I would say I’ve been lucky that any of the issues I’ve run into along the way have always worked themselves out. There have definitely been a handful of unexpected changes since 2017. For example, in 2018 I ended up taking over the company by myself after Jen got a job that required a lot of travel. It was a difficult decision to make, especially considering how integral her support had been to me in starting Fruit Salad, obviously! To this day though, Jen has a permanent vendor’s booth at Fruit Salad whenever she is in town – and that was a nice way for us both to transition into our new arrangement.

Another couples changes came after some struggles with getting both vendors and guests to regularly attend. After a few slower events, I decided to do the events quarterly. And lastly, as of 2019, we’ve changed locations! We were originally at a store on York Blvd in Highland Park, that unfortunately closed its doors early this year. Our events are now are at Stash on York, a gorgeous vintage store (also on York Blvd) in Highland Park!

What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
Don’t give up.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Our next event is Saturday May 4th! We are always interested in chatting with new vendors. If you’re interested in joining our collective and selling with us, please reach out! You can email, Instagram, or Facebook message us and we will give you more details.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kara Lyne Szbadi, Eleanor Bray

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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